Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Using the Policy DDS
( Top )What information does the Policy DDS provide?

The Policy DDS is a policy document development system - it is a database with a web interface.  It provides access to University rules and University-wide policies, procedures and guidelines and to other relevant information including:

  • associated information and reference materials, such as other policies, procedures, legislation, forms, flowcharts etc.
  • information about recent amendments and changes to documents
  • document author and ownership details, and
  • document review dates.

The Policy DDS also gives users access to draft documents and allows them provide feedback in a coordinated way.

( Top )Do I need to login?

No - almost all the University's rules, policies, procedures and guidelines are available publicly on the internet. A few policies relating to the Uni's financial arrangements are restricted to Western Sydney University staff and you will need your Staff login and password to view them.

Some draft documents posted on the Bulletin Board or Discussion Board may ask for a login in order to provide feedback.  Drafts are normally only password protected during the early stages of development when they are posted for comment by a small reference group only.

( Top )How do I find the rule, policy, procedure or guideline I am looking for?

All rules, policies, procedures and guidelines are listed in the View A-Z page in alphabetical order, by title. Or you can search the Policy DDS from the Search page, using:

  • Full Text (i.e. words contained anywhere within the database or the documents themselves)
  • Keyword (i.e. words contained in a document's title, keywords and summary descriptions fields)
  • Management Area (lists documents by owning Division, Unit, and title)
  • Document Category (lists documents together in themed groups - e.g. all policy documents related to working at Western Sydney University)
  • Target Audience (lists documents based on who they apply to - i.e. students, staff or both)
  • Reference Number

Full Text and/or Keyword searches will also find matches in documents listed in Associated Information (all other search fields will not identify documents in Associated Information).

You can search using one field or a combination of multiple fields.

Note: If you are looking for a historic or future version of a policy document you can access these from the current version. Links to historic or future versions are located in the grey menu bar (at the top of the page) in the current version.

( Top )How do I interpret search results?

All documents matching your search criteria will be listed in alphabetical order, by title (unless you have included Management Area in your search criteria, in which case results will be listed, by Division, by Unit, then by title).  To access a document, simply click on its title.  

If you are not sure which of the documents listed is the one you want, you can see a summary of each by clicking the 'VIEW SUMMARY DESCRIPTIONS' link (located in brackets immediately above your search results).

If your search has returned too many or too few results try a different search field.  The information contained in the introductory text (top of page) and User Notes (red text to right of each search field) will help you to refine your search.

( Top )Who do I contact if I need help or further information?

If you can't find the document you are looking for or are having difficulty using the Policy DDS contact the Senior Governance Officer or the Manager, Policy and Governance in the Policy and Governance Unit.  You can also email enquiries to: 

If you have found the document of interest to you and need further advice in regard to its application or interpretation you need to speak to the relevant Unit Head (who can provide official interpretations regarding application to new/unique circumstances). 

If you have a general enquiry, this can be directed to the document's enquiries contact.  The Unit Head and Enquiries contact details are recorded on the Status and Details page.  Open the document, then click the link to the status and details page (located at top of page on the light grey menu bar).

( Top )Where can I find related information?

Each document in the Policy DDS has associated information which may include links and references to related information and materials such as relevant legislation; other policies, procedures and guidelines; forms; web pages and flowcharts.

You can access the Associated Information page from the current version of the document - the link is in the light grey menu bar.
( Top )What does Policy DDS stand for?

Policy DDS stands for Policy Document Development System. Apart from being the University's central policy repository it is also assists policy owners and authors in the development of their policy document by providing an online consultation process (the Bulletin Board) and an online approval and publication process.

( Top )How can I provide feedback on an existing policy?

When policies are under review a drafts is posted to the Policy DDS Bulletin Board. You can provide feedback on any document posted for comment on the Bulletin Board - just click on the document title and follow the prompts to provide feedback. Your comments will be sent through to the author for consideration.

If the policy is not under review you can provide feedback directly to the author and Unit Head. To do this - open the current version of the policy, procedure or guideline in question and go to the "Status and Details" page (a link to this page is in the light grey menu bar). There you will find the name of the author, the relevant unit head and a contact for enquiries. Click on the name of any of these (usually the enquiries contact in the first instance) and an email page will open, allowing you to insert and forward feedback. Please ensure that you provide clear details about the particular policy you are commenting on and sufficient information to relate your comments to the relevant part of the policy (e.g. Section 3, clause 11).

( Top )What if I can't find an old or historic version of the policy I want?

The Policy DDS only archives historic versions of policies from mid 2006. If you need to access older policies, these may be available through hard copies of the University Calendars or in the University’s records. Contact the Policy and Governance Unit for assistance.

( Top )What is the Discussion Board?

The Discussion Board is a consultation interface that has been provided to facilitate comments on non-policy documents.  The Disucssion Board may be used to provide feedback in respect to the development of any document, however documents must be compiled using the Policy Word Template. However attachments such as flowcharts and spreadsheets, can be linked to the document.

If you are interested in using this interface for consultation purposes contact the Policy and Governance Unit for further information.

( Top )How do I find a version that was in place in the past (an historic version)?

If you want to view a former (or historic) versions of a policy document, you can by clicking on the current version of the document and using the Historic Version link in the light grey document menu bar. You will see all former approved versions of the policy back to 2006. If you require a former version that was in place before then please contact the Policy and Governance Unit.